The Church celebrates the Feast of Pentecost fifty days after Easter Sunday. Pentecost Sunday ends the season of Easter. This year, the Feast of Pentecost will be celebrated on Sunday, May 20. Read on to discover activities and resources to teach children about Pentecost and to prepare for and celebrate the feast of Pentecost this May.
THE PENTECOST STORY FOR CHILDREN
Before he returned to his Father in Heaven, the risen Jesus visited his disciples and promised to send the Holy Spirit to help them. We read in Scripture that one morning, when the disciples were gathered together with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and some other women, they suddenly heard a noise like a strong wind. Then they saw what looked to be flames of fire over each of them. “And they were all filled with the holy Spirit.” (Acts of the Apostles, 2:4)
The Holy Spirit filled the disciples with courage and faith, empowering them to share the Good News with others. They began to tell others about Jesus, and that he died for us and rose to new life. On this day, the gift of the Spirit allowed the disciples to communicate even with those who spoke different languages.
On Pentecost, the Apostle Peter spoke to a gathered crowd. He asked the people to be baptized and receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit. Many people were baptized that day. The Apostles continued to baptize many people. They laid their hands on them so that they might receive the Holy Spirit, giving them strength and courage.
The Holy Spirit came to the disciples on Pentecost. God the Father and Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help and guide the Church. The event of Pentecost changed the world and gave rise to today’s Church. The Holy Spirit is still with us today.
PRINTABLE PENTECOST ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN
RESOURCE 1: COURAGE MINI MAGAZINE
When the Holy Spirit came to Jesus’ disciples on the first Pentecost, it gave them courage and empowered them to share the Good News with others. Fortitude, or courage, is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Help children learn about courage as you prepare to celebrate the feast of Pentecost. This engaging multi-page booklet explores with the courage of the Apostles at Pentecost and connects to our celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation. The mini magazine includes fun facts, profiles of courageous saints, quotes, activities, and prayers for kids. The mini magazine can be enjoyed by students with their families, or by religious education classes.
RESOURCE 2: THE STORY OF PENTECOST ACTIVITY
Download and share The Story of Pentecost Activity with your primary students in anticipation of the Feast of Pentecost. In The Story of Pentecost Activity children will first think about what happened on the day the Church began, and then sequence a series of Pentecost events. This activity will especially appeal to students who prefer linguistic and interpersonal activities.
Before beginning The Story of Pentecost Activity, you’ll want to review the story of Pentecost with the children. Refer to Acts of the Apostles 2:1–4, use a children’s Bible, or consult the Creemos or We Believe Catholic Identity Edition student text.
Catechists will also need to gather materials in advance, including construction paper (a sheet for each child, preferably in red—the color associated with Pentecost because of the tongues of fire which appeared over the Apostles' heads that day), tape (or glue), pencils, and crayons.
Each child will also need a copy of the activity sheet.
Distribute the activity sheets and give each child a sheet of construction paper. Read the directions. Help the children arrange the sentences in the correct order (1. “Early one Sunday morning....” 2. “The disciples heard a noise….” 3. “They saw what looked….” 4. “The disciples went out….”).
Ask for a volunteer to tell what happened next (Peter spoke about Jesus to a large crowd of people) and have the children write this or a similar sentence on the final blank strip. Invite children to color the tongues of fire beside each sentence.
Finally, assist children in affixing the sentence strips onto the sheet of construction paper using tape or glue. Once children have completed the activity, invite them to gather in the prayer space. Pray together, "Holy Spirit, help us to tell others about Jesus Christ."
RESOURCE 3: FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT ACTIVITY
On Pentecost Sunday, the Church remembers the coming of the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ disciples on the first Pentecost, giving them courage and empowering them to share the Good News with others.
On this day, the gift of the Spirit allowed the disciples to communicate even with those who spoke different languages. The event of Pentecost changed the world and gave rise to today’s Church.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we show the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In the second reading, Saint Paul lists the fruits of the Spirit. Explain to the children that when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we will show these fruits in our lives. Saint Paul tells us that these fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Enhance your Pentecost celebration with the Fruits of the Spirit Activity.
RESOURCE 4: PENTECOST CELEBRATION HANDOUTS FOR CLASS OR COMMUNITY
As Christians, each of us joins those early disciples in being sent to share the good news of Jesus with others. This can be daunting if we think evangelization only means traveling to distant lands or standing on street corners as preachers and prophets, but it’s much simpler than that!
Designed for whole community catechesis with the entire school or parish community, these Pentecost Celebration Handouts participants will not only deepen their understanding of how the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, but recognize what evangelization meant for the early Church and how it continues to constitute the essential mission of the Church today!
Download nineteen unique handouts to support your Pentecost whole community events.
PRINTABLE PENTECOST PRAYERS FOR CHILDREN
RESOURCE 5: PENTECOST PEOPLE PRAYER
We celebrate the feast of Pentecost as the “capper” to the Easter season. The feast of Pentecost affirms who we are as the Church – the People of God called to spread the news far and wide of the mighty words and works of Jesus Christ.
Download a Pentecost People Prayer Card and use it with your family or class to celebrate this great feast.
RESOURCE 6: PRAYER FOR PENTECOST TONGUE
We may not have the gift of tongues bestowed upon the disciples when filled with the Holy Spirit, but we are endowed with the same grace guidance of the Holy Spirit. Like those early disciples, we are called to put our own gifts to use and spread the Good News with love. Download a Prayer for Pentecost Tongue Prayer Card now!
Encourage the children in your home or religious education program to share the story of Pentecost with friends and family, and also to talk about ways that the Holy Spirit helps and guides the Church today. Download the Pentecost activities and prayers to enhance your celebrations!